THE WEEK

THE WEEK

Court Upholds ILA In Evergreen Case: A federal appeals court ruled that four Evergreen America port captains and a port engineer are not managers and are thus eligible for representation by the International Longshoremen's Association. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board regional office's ruling that the five employees are not managers, as Evergreen had contended. The unionization dispute led to a 28-day ILA strike that disrupted the carrier's East Coast operations for 28 days last April and May. The strike ended when Evergreen entered negotiations and agreed to a three-year contract, subject to the court ruling on whether the workers were managers. Evergreen said after the appeals court ruling that it would abide by the court's decision. Still pending before the NLRB and a federal court is a separate case in which the ILA is challenging its 61-52 loss in a referendum by Evergreen's New Jersey office workers on union representation. Separately, the ILA won NLRB-supervised representation elections involving three port captains of Cosco North America and three at Solar International Shipping Agency, agent for Yang Ming, The ILA said it will ask the companies to bargain on a contract.

TACA Lines To Raise Intermodal Rates: Carriers in the Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement said they will raise inland portions of their rates by 10 percent on May 10 to reflect increased costs of new hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers. TACA lines also said eastbound and westbound demand remains strong and that they still plan to raise ocean rates later this year. The carriers, which handle about half of the trans-Atlantic trade between North Europe and the U.S., announced in late 2003 that they planned a series of rate increases during the year. The conference said the rate increases are needed to sustain required service levels. TACA said it expects to announce eastbound rate increases effective July 1 and Oct. 1, and a westbound increase effective July 1. Effective April 1, the conference raised eastbound tariffs by $120 per 20-foot container and $150 for 40- or 45-footer, and increased westbound tariffs by $400 per 20-footer and $500 for 40- or 45-foot container. TACA members are Atlantic Container Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Co., Maersk Sealand, NYK Line, Orient Overseas Container Line and P&O Nedlloyd.

Re-Regulation Not The Answer, AAR Says: Re-regulation of U.S. railroads might provide shippers with lower rates, but the "instant gratification" would come at the cost of long-term damage to the industry, the president of the Association of American Railroads told a House subcommittee. While some shippers want government to tighten its control over pricing, "the rest of America's shippers understand and recognize how deregulation has improved service and lowered rates," AAR President Edward Hamberger testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's railroad subcommittee. Hamburger spoke in opposition to a bill that would require the Surface Transportation Board to "ensure effective competition" among railroads at origins and destinations; enforce reasonable rail rates "in the absence of effective competition," and maintain consistent and efficient rail service for shippers, including timely distribution of rail cars.

UP Diverts Shipments To Truck: Union Pacific Railroad is asking some customers to divert their rail shipments to trucks, as the largest U.S. railroad works out problems with crew shortages and traffic congestion. UP said it had shifted some UPS shipments to truck on the Dallas-Memphis segment of its transcontinental service. The railroad said a shortage of crews has led to traffic congestion over much of its system, especially on the routes between Los Angeles and El Paso, where many intermodal shipments move inland from West Coast ports.

Robert V. Delaney Dies At 68: Robert V. Delaney, who drew on a half-century of logistics experience in the analysis that highlighted his annual State of Logistics report, died April 2. He was 68. Logistics professionals looked forward to his annual reports, which provided a year-to-year measurement of U.S. logistics efficiency and were spiced by Delaney's pithy commentary on industry developments, trends and fads. Delaney was introduced to logistics as an Army enlisted man in 1953. He later was a logistics manager for International Paper Co., Pet Inc., Monsanto Chemical Co. and Nabisco; a transportation executive for Leaseway Transportation and Ryder Systems; a director of USFreightways; and a consultant for Arthur D. Little Inc. and Ernst & Young. He later was vice president of Cass Information Systems in St. Louis, and a consultant for ProLogis. Cass and ProLogis were co-sponsors of the State of Logistics report through last year. The Council of Logistics Management took over sponsorship of this year's report, which Delaney planned to issue in June with co-author Rosalyn Wilson of ProLogis.

Australia-New Zealand Lines Plan Increases: The association of carriers providing service from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand has announced a guideline calling for a general rate increase of $200 per 20-foot container and $300 per 40-footer, effective July 1 for U.S. exports. The United States Australasia Discussion Agreement said the increase is necessary to cover the "continual increases in costs that they have and continue to experience in virtually every aspect of their operations." The discussion agreement can issue rate guidelines but cannot impose increases. Association members are ANZDL, CMA CGM, Fesco, Lykes Lines, Hamburg Sud, Maersk Sealand, Marfret, P&O Nedlloyd and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.